Some might say that overweight and obese mean the same thing. They will offer that those who think otherwise are just quibbling over two words that are interchangeable with each other. You may or may not agree with that. I am sure however, that once you realize the inherent risks in each of them that you will agree that neither is preferable to be.


The medical community uses overweight and obese for clinical diagnosing and determining which category of risk patients weighing more than recommended for health fall into. Like adults, overweight and obese children are at an increased risk for developing catastrophic diseases and afflictions. However, because their bodies are still growing and developing, treatments may be less successful when disease strikes. The suspension of full growth and development may also occur in overweight and obese children, which can cause many physical, social, and emotional problems for them.


Body mass index (BMI) is a type of body fat measurement that derives from a calculation of age, weight, and height to arrive at a percentage of body fat. There are methods that are more direct for measuring body fat, but BMI is quite accurate and is less costly than other methods for determining body fat compositions. You should rely on the expertise of a medically trained professional to evaluate whether your child is overweight or obese. He or she will use the BMI calculating of body fat percentage method in combination with other methods for measuring body fat composition and other factors of overweight and obese.


Helping children who are overweight or obese to reduce their weight can help them to reduce their risks for developing life threatening diseases by as much as 10 percent. Some common diseases that overweight and obese children are more susceptible to than average weight children include: diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disorders, and some cancers.  Susceptibility and risks increase as children move from overweight to obese.


Fat composition in the body is a greater indicator of potentially compromised health in a child than their weight number is. This is because fitter children have more muscle composition in their bodies, which can result in a higher number on the scale. It is therefore possible for a child evaluated on weight alone, to be falsely identified as overweight. We must also be mindful of the fact that children’s bodies experience ongoing changes that could give them the appearance of overweight until the body readjusts various compositions that comprise their bodies.


Overweight and obese are words used to describe children, that are no laughing matter. Nevertheless, you can use laughter and fun to help children to adopt the healthier lifestyles that can help keep many diseases at bay and that most often results in extended living. This is also a time to take a good look at your own level of fitness and health. The lifestyle choices you make heavily influences those that your children will make. If changes are necessary, do not spend time berating yourself for how you got here and for not modeling the healthiest choices for your children to follow, instead make the necessary healthy changes to your lifestyle and that of your child/children with the smoothest of transitions.


Discover what healthy choices you could make to improve upon your own fitness and health and that could help your children to improve theirs as well. Then make a conscious effort to make those changes that you discover are the best changes for you and your family. Transitioning from unhealthy to healthier lifestyles does not have to be hard or cause anyone to feel deprived. It can be fun and exciting for parents and children to prepare healthy meals together. When the whole family gets involved in doing fun physical activities together, it is more likely that children will remain more active even as adults.


Overweight and obese are dangerous for children as well as for adults. Make health a priority for you and your family by getting your fitness and health levels under control.